Ah Bangkok. The city that well, didn’t leave much of an impression on me. The city, I, to be honest, am not quite sure I liked. The city that makes me feel like a bit of a failure as a travel blogger because I don’t really know what to say about it.



My distaste for the city may have to do in no small part to my horrendous, cockroach-infested hostel. The first time I used the bathroom there I discovered a cockroach about the size of a kiwi that had me ranting, “I’M CHECKING INTO THE BEST WESTERN.”

And may I say as a musophobic traveler that I’ve never seen rats quite like the ones in Bangkok. Oh. Dear. God. They were enormous and omnipresent, scurrying under food carts and out of sewer grates.

Overall, Bangkok just didn’t feel like a big city to me; it didn’t have the energy of Saigon or the charm of Siem Reap, and its level of filthiness was like nothing I’ve seen before. (Cockroaches, much?)

To be fair, I don’t think I gave the city a fair chance. I missed a lot of the things I was excited about and intend to visit on my next trip back (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and Chatuchak Market, for example). And we admittedly spent one day in an air-conditioned mall shopping at H&M, eating Japanese ramen and watching Jobs. Which could have happened in any city around the globe.

My first visit to Bangkok was more about spending time with a really great group of travel buddies than seeing the sites.

From King’s Cup in the hostel lobby… (and that awful English drinking game I can’t get a handle on, The Witch)…


To wildly uncomfortable (but hilarious) tuktuk rides…


To seeing (a few) sites…




To a fail of a boat cruise (we boarded too late so most of the sites were closed)…




Bangkok To an impromptu, dumpling-filled visit to China town… IMG_8833



To making new kitty friends and playing Jenga with Polish people we just met…



To dancing until dawn on Koh San Road at “The Club”. And then leaving at four a.m. to hurriedly pack our bags and endure a 10-hour journey to Siem Reap without having slept a wink.

Koh San

Worth it.

Well Bangkok, I’ll be back. And the next time I stop by I’ll be giving you a much more thorough look. And try not to party quite so much.

Have you ever been to Bangkok? What did you think of it?

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Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.